Dumpster Diving

By isak, June 3, 2008

I met the gang for dinner Friday night uptown at the Mexican restaurant. Bekka was there with a new friend. She introduced me as the dog woman for all the dogs I have and herself as the cat woman for all the cats she has. After dinner, she, her friend and I were talking in the parking lot when Bekka spotted a small kitten under a portable building beside the trash dumpster. The restaurant stores extra stuff in the building. We walked over to the building to check out the situation. There were three young kittens huddled under the building. Looked to be about 5-6 weeks old.

As soon as one came near me, I snatched it. Bekka looked at me and asked, “Are we going to catch them?” I said, “yep.” So we went to work trying to call them, bribe them with food and push them with anything we could find. There was a slow steady stream of water flowing past us keeping the smell of garbage under the building moist. It was that nasty, kind of sweet smell of rotting food we were trying to not get on us. After several more minutes, we managed to catch kitten #2. By now, we had the local police department offering us flashlights… they were there to watch the parking lot.

Kitten #3 was very shy and had been almost caught three times, so his fear level was high. Plus he did not know where his siblings were. After trying to catch cats for more than an hour, Bekka said we had to call it quits. There were adult cats monitoring us in the distance and the kittens had survived to this point under that building, so I had to agree with Bekka’s decision.

However, I could not sleep that night. I kept waking up and thinking about the scared little kitten alone in the garbage under the building… or hopefully, it was under the building and not out looking for his siblings.

In the morning, I fed the kids, cleaned up the yard and headed back to the restaurant. As I approached the building, I meowed and immediately, the kitten meowed back. He was there where we left him. Thank goodness! So I began trying to catch #3. The area was worse than the night before. Somehow the darkness and the margaritas from the night before made the area better than the heat and the daylight of Saturday morning.

The kitten was hunkered down in a nasty pile of garbage almost in the center of the building. He would meow, but he wasn’t moving much. I tried to poke a broom near him but he was not bothered by it. I found a long piece of pvc pipe and used it to push him towards me. Once he was close, he crawled under the beam about two feet from the end of the building… just out of any easy reach. I did not want to waste any lunges towards him for fear of missing. After a couple minutes, he ran back to the center and hunkered down. In a split second, I wondered if I would be able to catch him. It had never even crossed my mind that I might not.

For the next half hour, I tried several things… poking him, offering smelly canned dog food (he was almost interested in that), meowing. Then I played my trump card. I asked Merrietta to help me.

Merietta passed away a few years ago. She was always a big cat lover and always had bunches of cats. Prior to her passing, she had set up a cat rescue organization up north on Delaware. She has been there for me on several rescue missions, so I asked for her help. I have no idea how long you have to wait for such a request to be filled. I would imagine that Merrietta has her hands quite full in her new position… from her place in heaven, she can help cats all over the world. A much bigger reach than she had here on earth. So I kept trying things and asking Merrietta for a bit of help when the kitten stood up and made a cautious zig-zag towards me. And once that boy got close enough, I SNATCHED him!

I was so ecstatic! I sat there on the curb for a few minutes rubbing and kissing on him and counting all his fingers and toes. I was so excited he was finally going to be back with his siblings. So I put him in a carrier with some food, put him in the car and headed for Bekka’s house.

Thank you, Merrietta.

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